Time’s person of the year Taylor Swift is also 2023’s unexpected financial powerhouse

December 06, 2023 11:31 AM PST | By Invezz
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Taylor Swift, the iconic pop star, has emerged as Time’s Person of the Year, overshadowing figures like Sam Altman and even King Charles III. This recognition hinged on Swift’s embodiment of joy in a world besieged by negativity, Sam Jacobs, Time’s editor-in-chief, said on an NBC show.

Beyond the glitz of her artistry, Swift’s Eras Tour has morphed into a colossal financial force, projected to generate close to $5 billion in the United States alone, according to a data report from research company QuestionPro. This surge showcased her ripple effect on businesses across industries, underscoring her indelible mark on the economy. Despite initial economic forecasts painting a grim picture, Swift’s tour coincided with a surge in “revenge spending,” with Americans indulging in high-end purchases and travel escapades, defying expectations.

The demand for tickets was unparalleled, crashing Ticketmaster’s website and even prompting a Senate hearing into its infrastructure. Her concerts became an event of such magnitude that in Seattle, they registered seismic activity akin to a 2.3 magnitude earthquake.

“It feels like the breakthrough moment of my career, happening at 33,” Swift shared with Time magazine, reflecting on this pivotal phase.

Swift’s resonance extended globally as she clinched the title of the UK’s most-streamed artist of 2023, dominating charts across Spotify and Apple Music. Notably, her influence seeped into the stock market’s dynamics, with entities like theatre company AMC Entertainment Holdings and footwear retailer Shoe Carnival witnessing stock price upticks mirroring her performances.

Projections indicate the Eras Tour could breach the $1 billion milestone by next March, surpassing industry benchmarks. The tour’s transformative impact reverberated in the hospitality sector, boosting hotel revenues and setting occupancy records nationwide.

‘Swiftonomics’ stealing the show

Critics contest the direct economic impact of ‘Swiftonomics,’ positing that spending on Swift might redirect funds from other sectors. Nonetheless, her cultural and economic significance, although not a primary driver in the broader economy, leaves an undeniable mark.

Swift’s influence even extends to local economies, seen through the proliferation of a ‘friendship bracelet’ economy driven by her song ‘You’re on Your Own, Kid’ from the album ‘Midnights.’ While this trend injected fresh revenue streams into local businesses, it also induced shortages of beads and sequins.

Amid broader economic challenges, Swift’s tour remains a beacon of enthusiasm, with a staggering 91% expressing willingness to attend despite an average spending of over $1,300 per event. Her cultural impact is evident, with cities across the tour transforming into Swift-themed extravaganzas and world leaders such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vying to host her performances.

Swift has issued two albums this year: “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” in July and “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” just recently. Both are re-recordings of earlier albums created as part of Swift’s business-savvy effort to fully own her material. Even her appearance at Kansas City Chiefs games to support Travis Kelce has catalysed sales on the secondary market, a testament to her pervasive influence beyond the stage.

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